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The Confrontation Of Familiar And Alien In Blade Runner Directed By Ridley Scott

1758 words - 8 pages

Blade Runner, which is directed by Ridley Scott and is based on Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, is a Sci-fi Noir film about a policeman named Rick Deckard (played by Harrison Ford) in 2019 Los Angeles who was contracted to retire four genetically engineered replicants. The four fugitives, Pris (played by Daryl Hannah), Zhora (played by Joanna Cassidy), Leon (played by Brion James), where led by Roy Batty (played by Rutger Hauer) and have escaped from an off-world colony in order to find their creator and oblige him into expanding their pre-determined four year life span. A part of the success that this feature has received can be attributed to the film’s ability ...view middle of the document...

The descent to street level seeks to demonstrate the antithesis of the futuristic skyline. The old Los Angeles at street level has become a dirty amalgam of polyglottic ethnic crowds wandering past shops, stores and vendors. Looking upwards from ground level, the frames expose wires which stretch between massive skyscrapers toward the sky ,and then only one can gaze into a fog induced darkness and unstoppable acid rain. The labyrinthic nature of Los Angeles is exposed thoroughly in Blade Runner and it is represented by the way travelling can be done within the city. A large crane system which is powered by a supercomputer is used to go between destinations in 2019 Los Angeles because it is no longer possible for the citizen to navigate at eye level.
The images show a futuristic city under developed capitalism and allow Blade Runner to be considered as a critique done towards society. Industrialisation has abolished all nature and forced all individuals with a status to leave Earth for space colonies. The extravagant neon pink and red can be seen as a reference to the burning colours of Hell. In their strong contrast to the dark streets which sit below, the neon colours suggest the incongruence in late capitalism between the gleaming promises of consumerism and the harsh realities of production and everyday life. The cinematic development of bright, artificial images that contrast against a hazy background create effects which are unsettling through which the urban scenes uncover social anxieties about urban decay and anxieties about a complete domination by corporations. Also, the urban images are portraying a devastated environment that contains many houses which are abandoned and streets full of garbage. Large amounts of people roam through the streets, evoking common fears about overcrowded urban areas and immigrants controlling the cities of the future. The amalgam of advertising boards with brands from Japan, Europe, and the United States point to a society of the future where trilateral capitalism has achieved its dream of a global economic system.
On the East and West coasts of the United States, for example, Japanese ramen and sushi cafes have replaced local fast food chains, and there are visibly more Asian merchants among street people. The film here seems to give a voice to paranoia about Japanese capitalism overcoming the United States. Without any doubt, Los Angeles seems to be under the patronage of U.S. capitalism, which now appears to have enriched itself with its rivals now added into its structure. The economic structure of the society is made by small, independent street merchants.One other argument that can be added is that most of the merchants in the film are Asian or European, whereas the president and executives of Tyrell Corporation are all North American.
Throughout, Blade Runner’s style is neo-expressionist which contains dark shadows, unsettling lights and uncommon camera movement. From a thematic point of view, the...

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